If asked, most people would agree that there are deep connections between technology and the modern world, and even that technology is the truly distinctive feature of modernity. Until recently, however, there has been surprisingly little overlap between technology studies and modernity theory. The goal of this ambitious book is to lay the foundations for a new interdisciplinary field by closely examining the co-construction of technology and modernity.
The book is divided into three parts. Part I lays the methodological groundwork for combining studies of technology and modernity, while integrating ideas drawn from feminism, critical theory, philosophy, sociology, and socioeconomics. Part II continues the methodological discussion, focusing on specific sociotechnical systems or technologies with prominent relations to modernity. Part III introduces practical and political issues by considering alternative modes of technology development and offering critiques of modern medicine, environmental technology, international development, and technology policy. The book as a whole suggests a broad research program that is both academic and applied and that will help us understand how contemporary societies can govern technologies instead of being governed by them.